Nature Conservancy of Canada and Google at Old Man on His Back Ranch

August 25, 2015
Claydon, Saskatchewan


Google Trekker Camera to Capture Images at OMB!

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Google formed a partnership that will see five spectacular nature sites across Canada captured in panoramic images destined for Google Street View.

Among the first of NCC's natural areas to be photographed with the Google Trekker camera is the Old Man on His Back Prairie Heritage and Conservation area (OMB) in southwestern Saskatchewan, occurring on Wednesday, August 26, 2015.

NCC's OMB area was selected for Google Trekker to enable many people to enjoy this natural area and view bison in their natural grasslands habitat. After this expedition, anyone will be able to visit the OMB ranch through Google maps...via computer!

Nature Conservancy of Canada staff will use a Google Trekker, a 50-pound (20-kilogram) backpack-mounted camera, to capture images of the landscape and roaming bison. The team will hike through part of the 13,135 acre (5,316 hectare) ranch to capture the images, staying far enough away to ensure the bison will not be disturbed.

The Trekker is a green orb about the size of a soccer ball that contains 15 lenses. The orb is mounted on a mechanical stalk that protrudes above the wearer's head and snaps multiple images on 360 degrees every 2.5 seconds. Every image taken by the Google Trekker is assigned a GPS location.

When uploaded to Google the images will be knit together to create panoramic views of the route followed by the Trekker. The images and the route will be published in Google Maps, often with additional information to tell the story of the location. These images will allow Canadians and Google users across the globe to explore some of the NCC's most stunning and diverse landscapes, coast to coast.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada manages a seasonal interpretive centre at OMB and a herd of genetically-pure plains bison on this ranch, located near Claydon in southwestern Saskatchewan. The OMB ranch was also recently designated as a Nocturnal Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.


"We (NCC) are pleased to be part of this partnership! Google Trekker at OMB ranch will enable many people to experience the beauty of natural grasslands and roaming bison," says Jennifer McKillop, Director of Conservation for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Saskatchewan. "It puts NCC's work in clear focus and features the natural grasslands of Saskatchewan on the virtual world map. When posted, people everywhere will be able to explore our NCC projects on Street View."


  • NCC in Saskatchewan conserves land in its natural state for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
  • NCC works with government at all levels, private industry, international and charitable organizations, academics, community groups and individuals for long-term land conservation.
  • NCC partners with ranchers through grazing leases and provides public foot access to properties in Saskatchewan.
  • Eighty-three per cent of contributions to NCC go directly to on-the-ground conservation of Canada's natural spaces and wildlife, including species at risk habitat.
  • NCC owns and manages properties near mamy southern and central Saskatchewan communities like Kenosee, Edenwold, Lang, Maymont, Asquith, Herbert, Keeler, the Quill Lakes, Claydon and more.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most improtant natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to conserve more than 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares), coast to coast, including over 150,000 acres (60,700 hectares) in Saskatchewan alone.

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Tiffany Cassidy
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